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ICTY Weekly Press Briefing - 31st Oct 2001

ICTY Press Briefing - 31 October 2001

note that this is not a verbatim transcript of the Press Briefing. It is merely
a summary.

ICTY Weekly
Press Briefing

Date: 31 October

Time: 11:30 a.m.


Jim Landale,
Spokesman for Registry and Chambers, made the following statement:

order was issued yesterday, 30 October, by Judge Rodrigues to unseal an indictment
against Pasko Ljubicic. He has been charged on the basis of his individual and
superior criminal responsibility with four counts of crimes against humanity
and seven counts of violations of the laws or customs of war for crimes allegedly
committed throughout the municipalities of Vitez and Busovaca in central Bosnia
in 1993, including the attack on the village of Ahmici on 16 April 1993. Copies
of the indictment will be available to you after this briefing.

Sikirica Sentencing Judgement will be rendered on 13 November at 2.30 p.m.

the Milosevic case, Judge May has been appointed pre-trial Judge for the Croatia

in the Milosevic case, we have received an order from the Trial Chamber inviting
the Registrar to designate amicus curiae for the Croatia indictment.

reminder that the Judgement in the Kvocka and others case will be handed down
by Trial Chamber I this Friday. You are of course all welcome to attend.

are also copies available of the pre-trial briefs in the Brjanin and Talic case
upon request.


Hartmann, Spokeswoman for the Office of the Prosecutor, made no statement.



Asked why
the Tribunal had decided to unseal the Ljubicic indictment at this time, Landale
replied that the order merely specified that the indictment was to be unsealed
following a request from the Prosecutor.

Asked why
this was requested by the Prosecutor, Hartmann replied that the Prosecutor
had decided that during the following weeks/months, the remaining sealed indictments
would be unsealed. Following the decision of the Judge on the Ljubicic indictment,
six sealed indictments remained.

Asked to
comment on claims made by Mr. Steijnen, Dutch lawyer for Mr. Milosevic in
the proceedings before the Dutch court, during a press conference yesterday
in which he accused the Tribunal of obstructing his normal client/lawyer contacts
with Mr. Milosevic, including not allowing them to exchange documents for
the preparation of the case, Landale replied that he did not have any information
as to whether documents had been exchanged. He added that he would look into

Asked in
general terms what happened in the cases where lawyers were representing detainees
in cases not relating to the Tribunal, and whether they received the same
lawyer/client privileges as those representing a client on Tribunal cases,
Landale replied it was ultimately the decision of the Registrar to decide
whether or not a visit was privileged. He added that a visit was normally
privileged between an accused and his defence counsel here at the Tribunal.
For other lawyers representing the accused in other cases elsewhere it was
perfectly possible that the Registrar allowed for such a visit. This was something
that had to be submitted to the Registrar for his decision and it would be
dealt with on a case by case basis.

Asked also
to comment on the fact that Mr. Steijnen said that Christopher Black had been
denied access to Mr. Milosevic and that he had been ‘black listed’ by the
Tribunal and why this had been done, Landale replied that for the time being
Mr. Black was not allowed to visit Mr. Milosevic. This followed his part in
a second incident a number of weeks ago, in which an interview with Mr. Milosevic
was published in a German magazine. It was established that the information
had been transmitted to that magazine by Mr. Black in full violation of the
rules of detention, which he was fully aware of.

Asked if
this was a temporary measure, Landale replied that it could be reviewed.

Asked what
he meant by an interview was transmitted, Landale replied that he was not
sure exactly in what form the information was conveyed to the magazine, however
the Tribunal was in no doubt that it was Mr. Black who had passed on the information.

Asked whether
there were cameras in Mr. Milosevic’s cell, Landale replied that there was
a camera in his cell. This was done for various accused on a case by case
basis. It was a policy, which was reviewed regularly and if it was decided
that it was no longer necessary for the mental and physical well being of
the accused the camera could be removed.

Asked to
confirm that Mr. Milosevic was not able to see his family without the presence
of ICTY staff members and whether this was a standard rule, Landale replied
that this was a standard rule for all accused who received visits from their
families. Those visits could be conducted within the sight and hearing of
the management of the Detention Unit. This did not necessarily mean someone
was leaning over his shoulder or sitting right next to him during the visit,
however, there was sometimes a presence in the room.

Asked whether
this applied to the conjugal room as well, Landale replied that it did not
and that this was a separate issue. Conjugal visits were permitted but had
to be requested. He was not aware of any request having been made by Mr. Milosevic.
He added that in all cases, it was not something that would be made public
for the privacy of the accused.

Asked whether
Mr. Milosevic was the only person in the detention unit to undergo this kind
of regime, Landale replied that he was not.

Asked if
Mr. Milosevic was the only one with a camera in his cell, Landale replied
that he would have to check on this. Again he said that the situation changed

Asked when
the Prosecutor would be going to New York and what she would say there, Hartmann
replied that the Prosecutor would be going there on 26 November to address
the Security Council concerning the work of the OTP which had taken place
during the course of this year. She would also address them on the eventual
problems the OTP faced with the former Yugoslavia concerning cooperation with
the Tribunal. She concluded that the Prosecutor would also address them concerning
the ICTR.

Asked to
explain what the motivation was behind the Prosecutor deciding to unseal all
of the sealed indictments, Hartmann replied that there was a great deal of
misunderstanding in the former Yugoslavia with regards to sealed indictments.
The OTP had disclosed the number of sealed indictments over the past months
because certain members of the media and also certain people against the Tribunal
manipulated the use of sealed indictments.

She added that
it was difficult to explain to people that a sealed indictment was a normal
indictment and that the purpose of that indictment being sealed was to facilitate
arrests. A sealed indictment might only have to remain sealed for a few hours
or days (time for it to be served on the competent authorities and then for
them to arrest the accused) and it could become public very quickly if the
accused were immediately arrested, but, because some authorities were not
cooperating and were not arresting people those indictments remained under
seal for months, sometimes years.

She added that
unsealing indictments sometimes assisted in arrests, as in the case of Dubrovnik,
where the press located the accused immediately. For this reason the OTP would,
in the following weeks/months, disclose the other indictments as it was no
longer necessary to keep them sealed. This did not mean that the OTP would
not request sealed indictments in the future, to have better conditions for
arrest if the authorities were complying with their obligations, she concluded.

Asked whether
it was the goal of the Prosecutor to put non-cooperating governments on ‘the
spot’, Hartmann replied that the unsealing of the indictments was not being
done as pressure. The OTP had sealed indictments, nobody had been arrested,
those people were indicted and the appropriate authorities knew it. She added
however that sometimes the fugitives concerned did not know that they were
indicted by the Tribunal because the authorities did not inform them. This
meant that there was not even the opportunity for these people to surrender
voluntarily. It was difficult to estimate whether people had been informed
or not, it depended on many things. There was no reason to keep an indictment
sealed too long, but the OTP would use them again for immediate arrests.

Asked to
reconfirm that all existing indictments would be unsealed, Hartmann replied
that this was the case. There were only six left since the disclosure of this
one. The requests would be sent to the Judges, this was planned, it had not
been done yet.

Asked whether
this would take place in the next few weeks, Hartmann replied that they would
be informed in due time. If the Judges agreed with the requests the documents
would be made public.

Asked when
the Judges decision to deny the preliminary motions in the Milosevic case
would be available, Landale replied that he did not know yet. He would inform
them once they were available.